November 5th, 2009
02:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Immigration a stumbling block for health care bill

Washington (CNN) - Disagreement among Democrats over immigration language in the health care bill is complicating efforts by House Democratic leaders to round up votes needed to pass a bill by this weekend.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are pushing back against the addition of a provision to the bill that would bar illegal immigrants from buying health insurance using their own funds. This measure is already included in the Senate Finance Committee's version of the bill and is backed by the White House.

The House Democrats' bill already includes requirements for immigrants to verify their citizenship before getting federal subsidies to buy health insurance.  But some conservative Democrats have indicated they support the Senate language.

Rep Charles Gonzalez, a leading Member of Hispanic Caucus, said he and other Latino members will make their case to President Obama in a meeting at the White House this afternoon.  "We are going to ask him to revisit the manner in which they are approaching it and what's going on in the Senate."

"I understand the politics of it, but it is it very bad policy and I'd love for once the policy to trump the politics,"  Gonzalez told reporters.

Gonzalez said he and other members of Congresswant to keep the current version of the House bill - but if it's changed to add this stronger language, they could try to block it.  "Members of the Hispanic Caucus alone, we believe we have enough members that would be willing to express their disapproval through a vote that could be the difference," said Gonzalez.

Filed under: Health care • Immigration
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Doug, New Jersey

    Nothing in this world would make Democrats like Obama, Pelosi, and Frank happier than to see a hard working American in the middle of the country who has always paid his or her taxes, never has ever done anything illegal, and has always supported themselves and their families be on a long government waiting list for treatment they could get before the government take over, and they end up dying before the government grants them this treatment. While an illegal alien gets his or her healthcare for free immediately.

    Sure takes a sick person to support Democrats, doesn't it speak volumes about the ticker libs and their own morals and values when this above dream is their sole reasoning for supporting Obama care?

    November 5, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    Not all illegal immigrants are hispanic, there are many from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and even Europe. None should reap the benefits including health care on the American taxpayers back. They have no reguard for our laws or they would not be here. We have enough Americans who have no reguard for our laws including members of Congress and the White House from both parties who will not uphold the laws of this country. ID theft is rampant with illegal immigration which is not equivalent to a speeding ticket like Pro Amnesty Groups would have you think! 24 million dollars of the first time home buyers tax credit went to illegal immigrants. Who in Congress will guarantee that fraud will not happen in health care. No One!

    November 5, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Jim

    Joe Wilson was right? Can't be.

    November 5, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    How many more time do you need to be punched in the nose before you realize the Progressive's care more about the illegal immigrant’s rights then they do about the taxpayer?

    KILL THE BILL ! ! !

    November 5, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. vic nashville , Tn

    One or two people break the law we can fix it

    But 10 millions broke the law mean system is broke

    First we have to fix the system before blame any one

    November 5, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Jamie

    Ok CNN, what isn't a stumbling block to this health care bill? One day it is this, next is that, then its people. The press is so bored that any point of discussion is a stumbling block because U.S. journalists have no way how to discuss something if it isn't sensationalized or doesn't bleed.

    November 5, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "bar illegal immigrants from buying health insurance using their own funds."

    Seriously? Who in their right mind would tell them not to spend their money here? That's just complete and utter nonsense? So what if they're illegal? Last I checked, money is money, and it being handed to you by an illegal immigrant doesn't change that. Nor does it change the FACT that the insurance industry on the theory that the more people paying in and spreading risk the better.

    That being said, they obviously should not be handed federal funds to subsidize their insurance. That's a no brainer. But this "your money is no good here" nonsense is just chest puffery...what's next, telling supermarkets not to sell them food? Idiotic. Get pragmatic or get lost.

    November 5, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. a health economist

    If I walk into an insurance company and buy insurance with my own money, they will not ask me to prove my citizenship. That doesn't happen for car insurance, that doesn't happen for buying a home, that doesn't happen for buying a burger.

    People seem to be assuming that illegals walk around with a sign indicating such. If you are all so worried about illegal aliens purchases anything (which will be giving money back to citizens by the way) and you have no problem with giving up freedoms and being forced to prove your citizenship constantly, that's your right to feel that way.

    Personnaly I don't want to have to do that continually. Am I for illegal aliens, of course not. Do I have a problem with them spending money on something before they are determined to be illegal, no. Do I have a problem with them spending money on something after they are determined to illegal and they are not deported, yes.

    November 5, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. jomo

    My friend cut his finger in some machinery at his business. Medical Cost: $350. Paid by Insurance

    He sold the business years later but still works there. Illegal worker at the plant had the exact, same injury on the same machinery.
    Medical Cost: $12,000 Paid by insurance.
    Plus: $23,000 in workmans comp.


    November 5, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. D. Tree

    The health care bill should not be used as a pretext for subtle racist politics. The Bill already requires verification of citizenship, all this change does is pander to bigots.

    November 5, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. dg

    stop giving illigals what they did not work hard is that

    November 5, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. BLM

    Someone should check the citizenship status of the members of the Hispanic caucus.

    November 5, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    got 'permalinked' on the story about Democrats passing the Climate Bill without the cantankerous and obstinate Republicans.

    I am so happy that at long last, and within constitutional boundaries, the Democrats got something as important as this accomplished!! It is the only way that the spoiled GOP brats will come to realize that their obstruction and delay tactics WILL NOT WORK.

    Kudos to the Democrats for doing the job they were hired to do upon being elected to represent their constituents. Shame on the Republicans for continuing to draw a paycheck in spite of shirking their duties and not doing ONE day of honest work.

    November 5, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Chris - MN

    It seems to me that the GOP will not be happy unless emergency rooms start putting bouncers at the door to check for documentation.

    What they fail to realize is that doctors take an oath to heal the sick – not the legal sick.

    November 5, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. Gary

    if they are buying it, who cares. we need to move on. Quit dwelling on hate.

    November 5, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Eric

    ok it says illegal immigrants not Latinos. There's a differences last i checked.

    November 5, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. sick of the gutless dems

    What part of "Illegal" does this government not understand?????
    Have we, as a country, elected a group of people who should be deported? There is not one of our Representatives or Senators giving away Tax Payer funds who should not be in JAIL!!! Including the entire Hispanic Caucus. This is still the United States and the English Language needs to be locked down as tight as our already voted for and paid for FENCE ....oh yeah, Napolitano wants to adopt them all as well. Joe Arpaio is the only one enforcing the law and she is shutting him down, too.

    President Obama, there is no sympathy for people who break our laws and then make demands that Citizens don't get. NO AMNESTY! NO TAXPAYER MONEY TO SUPPORT ILLEGALS OR THEIR BIRTHRIGHT BABIES.

    November 5, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. trueblue

    I believe if they can pay for food and taxes then let them pay for their own health insurance, so it won't be a burden on us. We need to stop this abuse we can't afford it anymore.

    November 5, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. LacrosseMom

    Amazing what people on the far-right do not know! There ARE LAWS IN PLACE that prevent undocumented immigrants from having access to our Healthcare System.

    This issue is ridiculous, its just one more block by the GOP!


    The GOP just want to continue to fear monger, as usual!

    However, IF an undocumented immigrant goes to the ER of ANY hospital in the U.S. by LAW the Hospital MUST TREAT them! This law has been around for over a decade. It is humane to treat a human being...... who is a CHILD OF GOD is they are hurt or sick.

    It is so disturbing to read the comments of the GOPers, and see that HATE that you folks have towards immigrants! Are YOU going to pick lettuce?

    President Obama has not LIED, the LIES come from the GOP who like to incite hate!


    November 5, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. Rob

    Hey, wait a minute. Didn't all you lib kooks jump all over Joe Wilson when he accused Obumbles of lying about illegals and the healthcare bill? Y'all got a weird definition of the truth then, this healthcare sham is full of lies.

    Four and the door Obumbles, four and the door.

    November 5, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Claude W. Boyd

    Politics over people.
    This is all about self preservation in Office at all levels. Illegals are illegals. My Fellow Soldiers are dying everyday to preserve what? Our Constitution means nothing to a Lawless Foreign nations. It is not the Fault of the Illegals, It is the so call Representatives (Government Officials) who were elected to ensure the Security and Defense of our Nation. In the Meanwhile, we are weaken by a Mild Depression, Unemployment, and Economic depletion of Tax Payer monies that are misused by our officials. 25% of the money earned by Illegals is being sent to stimulate the Mexican Economy not Ours. Health care reform already destroyed California, We should have learn from CA SNAFU. No to Illegals on all areas especially this.

    November 5, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Ben

    Another thing Joe Wilson was right about. Amazing. Where are the Liberal loons on this blog? Nowhere to be found, because they know they're not on the right side of this argument.

    November 5, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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